Aug. 31 2016 11:02 AM

Art is therapy for Jesse Allen Collins

Jesse Allen Collins, City Pulse’s final Summer of Art Artist, turned to art as a way to cope with hardships in his life.

“I grew up with bad anxiety,” Collins said. “Creating art helped bring me peace.”

Collins works primarily in abstract acrylic and resin paintings. While he was born in Kentucky, Collins spent most of his life in Michigan, which is where he discovered his love of abstract art.

“It’s chaos,” Collins said. “But it makes sense since everyone has a different perspective.”

The disorder and chaos, Collins explained, means that you can return to the paintings over and over, noticing new shapes or brushstrokes each time.

“It’s like cloud watching,” Collins said, “a thousand paintings in one.”

This ambiguity also opens his paintings up to a myriad of interpretations. This allows his work to resonate with viewers, as each person has a chance to find something meaningful to them.

“I’m a passionate person,” he said.

“Sometimes it’s easy to be afraid of letting people see your art, but you just have to do it.”

By day, Collins, 35, works for Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources in downtown Lansing, but painting is his real passion.

“I want my art all over the world,” Collins said. “I want to go on tour, have shows and collaborate.”

His paintings are available for purchase in several Lansing locations, including Keys to Creativity in the Lansing Mall and Vintage Junkies in REO Town, as well as from his website, jesseallenartworks.com. Collins hopes to open his own gallery in the near future.

But for now, his goal is to keep creating and help inspire others to do the same. His best piece of advice for aspiring artists is “don’t give up.”

“Even if someone doesn’t like your work or what you’re doing, never give up,” he said.

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